This is the final post of my zine!
After MANY changes, I decided to mainly use photos and soundscape to bring about the experience in Tiong Bahru. Instead of using the previous “eat, drink and play” idea (which was too informative), I will be using the nostalgic and fragility aspect of Tiong Bahru – something which I will not expect if I were to take a quick stroll along.
Nostalgia and fragility
Something which I thought about during this project was the conservation of this area – whether this charming estate will eventually disappear or not. Thus, I created this zine with this central focus in mind.
Cover page (right) and Back page (left).
In this spread, I used an ordinary photo of Tiong Bahru (b&w and grainy). It is unlike my other spreads where it is saturated with hints of warm colours – red, orange and yellow to suggest vibrancy. To me, this was my first impression of Tiong Bahru. It was just an “old estate” which I came to know about because of the hipster cafes. I split the typography in half because I wanted to reveal only half of Tiong Bahru’s name in Chinese characters as one will only see the other half when he/she finishes flipping through the zine – only seen as a whole or complete when one reaches to the final page.
A bird singing corner with no birds, no chirping, only noises from bustling cars. These noises are translated into the soundscape, which clashes with the bird visuals and typography, Barely recognizable without bird cages, this area is often overlooked by many. But, it contains a rich history of Tiong Bahru as people used to enjoy watching these birds sing. I could only extract the birds and typography from the faded sign, the only remnants that made me recognise that this place was once a vibrant bird singing corner.
The juxtaposition of new and old, of bustling and tranquil. I used a full picture across this spread. To show the contrast, I colourized the cafe area in the picture, and manipulated some typography above it. Looking across the spread, the soundscape compliments the visuals, reflecting soundwaves which depict a noisier to a quiet environment. The main warm colours, red, orange and yellow, were used in order to bring focus to the spread. Also, to play with the light intensity of the photo, I added light leaks to intensify the colours. More importantly, by this colour manipulation and adjusting of exposure (against the black and white side), I wanted to show the fragility of Tiong Bahru, like an old photo fading away.
The alleys in Tiong Bahru are either filled with people or absolutely empty and quiet. In terms of the environment, there is a stark difference in the light. I feel that these crowded alleys, mostly filled with cafes along the side, are brightly lit and out in open junctions. But as I turn into a corner around the SIT flats, it is normally darker and still. Which brings me to this spread where two pages show interaction with the use of the soundscape as a transition and the overlays of extracted typography from signboards (around the middle). Two different kinds of people are shown here, the tourists/outgoing residents and the older generation, mostly overshadowed by all the new things being introduced into this estate. They look as if they are interacting, but are in two entirely different backgrounds.
Overall, this zine has really pushed me in terms of style as mentioned earlier, I was more comfortable with vectors and illustrations. Nonetheless, the several trips to Tiong Bahru and figuring out what I interpreted from the site was an interesting experience. Having said that, because I had 2 entirely different drafts before this, I had the opportunity to explore possible textures, typography and photo manipulation. I look forward to learning even more new styles in the future.